Best Invisible Fences of 2019

An invisible fence gives your dog the opportunity to play in the wide open space while keeping him safe and contained. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best invisible fence for your pup.

Shopping Guide for Best Invisible Fences

Are you looking for an easy, unobtrusive way to prevent your dog from leaving the yard? An invisible fence can help keep your pooch contained within boundaries and without the need for a physical fence.

Dog owners use invisible fences for various reasons. Perhaps you want to give your dog the freedom to roam the yard without a leash, but you're not sure how to go about it. An invisible fence can give your dog that freedom. Perhaps your municipal code prevents you from erecting a physical fence. An invisible fence provides a viable solution in that case too.

Invisible fences are just that: invisible. How do they work? An invisible fence uses underground wiring or a wireless pulse to create a boundary. If the dog approaches the boundary, the system delivers a signal to the dog's collar. The collar emits an audible alarm and shock to the dog, discouraging your pet from crossing the boundary. The shock is a little painful for dogs, but their thick skin and fur protect them.

The shock a dog feels from an invisible fence is more of a repeatable training cue than a painful punishment.

Using This Shopping Guide

If you're ready to buy an invisible fence, the staff at BestReviews stands ready to help you. We pride ourselves on the extensive research we perform in many product categories, including invisible fences. We gather the facts and analyze actual owner reviews so we can provide you with the key information you need to make smart product choices.

What's more, we never accept free samples from product manufacturers. Our goal is to remain a trustworthy source of unbiased product information for consumers.

So, go ahead and take advantage of the work we've done. Above, you will find information about three of our favorite invisible fence products. Below, you'll find a shopping guide that helps you learn more about invisible fences. We're sure your dog will appreciate that you took the time to make a smart and safe product choice.

Types of Invisible Fences

Invisible fence options are split into two types: wired and wireless. Each type has a slightly different method of operation and installation.

Wired Invisible Fences

Wired invisible fences have been around for a few decades. A wire is buried in the ground along the boundary of the property. A transmitter sends a constant signal along the wire, creating an invisible boundary. The receiving collar the dog wears is triggered when it comes within a certain distance of the buried wire.

Wireless Invisible Fences

In a wireless invisible fence system, the transmitter sits in the center of the desired boundary. It sends a wireless signal in all directions, creating a circular boundary. The dog's collar emits a shock if it comes into contact with the boundary of the invisible fence.

What to Remember About Wireless Invisible Fences

A wireless fence is a good choice if you're able to place the transmitter in the center of your property. Bear in mind, however, that the transmitter needs a continuous power source. If the center point of your property has no power source, you may have to use a wired fence.

Because a wireless invisible fence transmitter sends its signal in all directions simultaneously, it creates a circular boundary.

Tips for Choosing Between a Wired and Wireless Invisible Fence

Wired invisible fences require more effort to set up than wireless invisible fences. With wired fence installation, you must dig a trench and bury the wire. You could leave the wire above ground, but it could pose a tripping hazard or get tangled in a mower blade.

A wired fence is a good option if you want to create a rectangular (or non-circular) invisible fence. The wire can be buried in any shape, creating an asymmetrical boundary, if that's what you need.

You can use a wired fence to block off particular areas inside the fence. For example, if your dog won't stop digging in your flower bed, you can use the wire boundary to safeguard the bed.

The wired fence option requires the wire to form a continuous loop; the invisible fence will not work if there's a break. If there isn't a way to form a loop on your property, a wireless invisible fence would be the better option.

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Create a Continuous Loop of Wire for Your Wired Invisible Fence

To use a wired invisible fence, you must be able to create a continuous loop of wire on your property. This can be tricky, but it's okay to get creative with the shape of your continuous loop.

Invisible Fence Costs

Most invisible fences cost at least $100; many cost more. Depending on how many dogs you have, you may also incur some ongoing or add-on costs.

Wired Invisible Fence Costs

A typical invisible wired fence kit costs anywhere from $100 to $300. Most kits ship with a transmitter, one to three collars, boundary wire, and marker flags. Some manufacturers save money on the upfront costs by including less boundary wire. You could purchase your own wire at the hardware store to cover more distance, though.

Wireless Invisible Fence Costs

Wireless invisible fence systems usually run from $75 to $300. A wireless invisible fence kit typically includes a transmitter, one to three collars, and marker flags.

Additional Collar Costs

Most kits—wired and wireless—ship with one, two, or three collars. Additional collars or replacement collars typically run $40 to $75 each, depending on the system.

Replacement Battery Costs

Some invisible fence collars run on rechargeable batteries, while others get their power from disposable alkaline batteries. A 9-volt battery is a common battery size for an invisible fence collar, but some systems use different sizes. Expect to replace your system's 9-volt battery two to four times per year. Rechargeable batteries should last two to five years.

If the perimeter of your property is several hundred linear feet, an invisible fence is likely the cheaper option. But if you need only a small fence for a tiny area, a physical fence may be more cost-effective.

Invisible Fence or Physical Fence?

Perhaps you're still trying to decide whether to get an invisible fence or a physical fence for your dog. It's important to consider the pros and cons of an invisible fence before making the investment.

Pro: The signal for an invisible fence extends vertically as well as horizontally. Dogs cannot jump or climb over the boundary as they might do with a physical fence.

Pro: A dog will not try to dig under an invisible fence. If you have a digger on your hands, your dog may dig under a physical fence. But an invisible fence has a signal that radiates in all directions, so digging their way out is not a viable escape plan for dogs.

Con: A dog can pass through an invisible fence. A stubborn dog, especially one with little training, may dash through an invisible fence in spite of the shock. But that same dog may never be able to pass through a solid physical fence, no matter how determined they are.

Con: You may not notice problems with an invisible fence until it's too late. Unlike a visible fence, which you can mend when broken, an invisible fence does not necessarily show signs of malfunction. For example, a collar with a dead battery or the loss of power to the transmitter could cause an invisible fence to fail. You might not realize there's an issue until the dog is gone—and that's a problem.

Just as you'd check the integrity of a physical fence, develop a habit of regularly checking the condition of the collars and transmitter of your invisible fence. That way, you'll be sure to notice budding problems before they allow your dog to escape.

Invisible Fence FAQ

Q. What are some key add-on features for invisible fences?
A. Because invisible fences rely on continuous electrical power to operate, they will fail if the power fails. For this reason, you should consider an invisible fence product that includes a battery-backup system. This system provides a couple hours of backup power for the fence while you move the dogs to a safe location. For a wired invisible fence, another add-on option is a warning alarm if the line is broken. This can occur if the wire slips out of its connection with the transmitter, for example. If the line is broken, the dog could breach the fence.

Q. Will the invisible fence work 100 percent of the time?
A. Unfortunately, there's no guarantee that an invisible fence will work with your dog. For example, some dogs may be able to tolerate and ignore the shock from the collar. And if the electrical power fails or the collar battery dies, the fence simply won't function. You must be prepared to spend time training your dog so they understand the boundaries of the fence. Without proper training, your pet won't understand the fence and may bolt through the boundary.

Q. How do I take my dog out of the containment system for walks?
A. You should use the invisible gate training system to give your dog a way out of his containment system.

● First, train the dog to respect the containment area.

● After your pet has learned the boundaries, put you dog on a leash and turn the invisible fence off.

● Select an area of the fence to use as an exit, and teach your dog to follow you through the fence at that same spot every time. The idea behind this method is that the dog will learn to walk through the fence only when on a leash and only when you go first. Once you've returned from the walk, go back through the same spot. Finish by reactivating the invisible fence.

Q. I don't want to hurt my dog. Is there any option other than an electric shock collar with the invisible fence?
A. Some invisible fence systems use an audible alarm first when the dog is within several feet of the boundary. You may be able to train your dog to back off when they hear the audible alarm. This means your dog would never receive the shock. However, if the dog continues moving forward to within a few feet of the fence, the collar will deliver a shock. The shock is mild and not intended to cause severe pain or outright damage. Consider that this small shock is preferable to the dog escaping the yard.

Q. Does an invisible fence work on all dog breeds?
A. Some dog breeds do not respond to an invisible fence as well as others. For example, guard dogs may suffer through the pain of the shock collar if they feel they are protecting their property. Tiny dog breeds may not be able to tolerate the shock of an invisible fence very well. The same goes for older dogs or dogs weakened by health problems. Read the specifications for the fence to see if there are limitations for certain types of dogs.

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